A Travellerspoint blog

Bearing West North West

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

A sea day as we sail out of the Timor Sea and touch on the Indian Ocean. No sun-rise to photograph, just a heavy shower at the appropriate time. Walked some of the long corridors until the gym opened and then walked a 20-minute program on the walking machine.
Back to the cabin for a shower and then up to the Lido for breakfast. Picked up our Kindles and read for a while in the atrium. The WWII lecture in the Princess Theatre summarised the evolution of the Japanese Navy in the lead-up to the 1940s. This was followed by Heather's lecture on the general state of Indonesia, commenting particularly on the endemic graft and corruption in the upper ranks of the government.
Lunch in the Lido - Mexican Special today. Off to the Vista lounge to attend the "Future Cruise" presentation which provided an overview of the 16 ships in the Princess fleet. A short break and then the screening of "The Descendants" starring George Clooney. A quick dash to the dinning room for another excellent dinner. Jeffrey treated me to a custom made sundae in a big bowl.
No sun-set photos tonight, in fact very few photo opportunities all day.
After dinner we attended the Cabaret in the Princess Theatre featuring Johanna Hemara, a very attractive young lady with an excellent voice and she could also yodle. Back to the cabin to complete this blog entry and post it.
Clocks go back another hour tonight which should be the last time before we start turning them in the other direction.

Posted by greynomadm 05:26 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

The Port of Darwin

Sunday, 11 March 2012

View 2012 Cherry Blossom on greynomadm's travel map.

Up and about at 0545 and up to the Lido deck to walk some circuits and photograph the sunrise. The lights of Darwin are visible on the horizon. A light breakfast and we get ready to go ashore. We joined most of the other passengers down the gangplank and along the walkway into the centre of town.
Despite the early hour and being a Sunday there are shops ready to relieve us of our money. Jenny went off to mass and I wandered down to the park and took some photos. The temperature is oppressive and the humidity saps any remaining energy. Having learnt my lesson in Hawaii I keep myself hydrated. By about 1130 we're ready to return to the ship.
We tried to contact Natalie and the kids but can't make contact. I also tried Mr Michael but he's not answering his phone either.
Back on board we head up to the Lido for lunch. A surprising number of passengers are aboard. Then again the temperature and humidity was probably too much for many of them.
Nothing of consequence until dinner so we're back in the cabin and watching TV.
Made contact with Michael and later with Natalie, that will be the last time until we are in Brisbane. All appears well on the home front.
Excellent dinner as always with the usual staggering array of dishes to choose from with a special desert "Cherries Jubilee", cherries cooked with sliced oranges in orange juice and flambé with wild cherry brandy served on a bed of whipped cream and vanilla ice-cream.
This evening's show in the Princess Theatre was the LADO String Quartet featuring four young musicians from the Ukraine.- Borys Koniukhov, Violin, Julia Frait, Violin, Veronika Sakhno, Viola and Nataliya Kukobnikova, Cello. They played a most entertaining group of tunes from the classics to popular and jazz.
Clocks back another half hour tonight. That's two cameras, the phone, my watch and the computer. I haven't changed the time on the Kindle and I'm not sure if it needs to be changed.

Posted by greynomadm 20:21 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

North of Arnhem Land

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Totally flat sea and a full moon this morning. Lots of storm clouds all around the horizon but the sunrise was not all that spectacular. I'm having a bit of a problem with the camera, when I take it out on deck the lens fogs up with moisture condensing on the cold lens.
We've found the scales in the gym and intend to weigh-in each morning and check on how our weight progresses. After breakfast Jenny went off to her craft group and I attended a very informative lecture by the Reef Pilot - Alistair Heron. He recounted his mixed and varied career which lead to him becomings a pilot. he also provided an insight to the instruments and devices used to navigate through the reef area.
Lunch on the Lido deck buffet and then on to Heather's lecture debunking some of the myths of Islam. It was certainly an eye-opener for me and no doubt many others in the audience.
Time for dinner, hasn't that come around quickly ?? It is 'Italian' night and the waiters are dressed in striped shirts and kerchiefs around their necks. The menu also had mainly Italian dishes including two special ice creams and a sorbet, Jeffrey managed to dish up a scoop of each for me. He's a good lad and at least 10 years older than we guessed.
After dinner a somewhat longer break before joining Adam Scicluna in the Vista Lounge for his final performance. Amazing collection of songs and some very funny stories. Check out his web site at adamscicluna.com.
Clocks go back 30 minutes and we spend tomorrow in Darwin.

Posted by greynomadm 22:56 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Rounding Cape York

Friday, 9 March 2012

Another day at sea and quite a spectacular sunrise this morning. We are back inside the reef and will round Cape York later today. Did some laps and chatted with the gentleman with the GPS and his charts. He records the position each half hour and notes the ship's direction and speed at the time. He's not much impressed with 'port' days and loves the sea days.
After breakfast I joined a good crowd in the Princess Theatre for Heather's third session and I volunteered to walk one of the microphones for the open-mike session. The comments, observations and statements were about what you'd expect from a group of older and more affluent senior citizens. Many people were eager to tell folks either side of them what they thought but were most reluctant to stand up with the microphone and express their opinion for all to hear.
Lunch at the Horizon Court Buffet and at about 1300 we rounded Cape York the northernmost point on the Australian mainland. We are now travelling generally westward our bearing at 1500 hrs is 265.7º and we are sailing across the mouth of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Heather, the lecturer, dropped off a small gift parcel and stayed to chat about Japan for at least half an hour. She certainly is a knowledgeable person.
Dinner in the Traviata dinning room. The menu selections are the best we've experienced and the waiter Jeffery and his partner Rex are such a friendly attentive pair.
After dinner we spent a most enjoyable hour listening to Ross Maio and his magic accordion. We also lashed out and paid $20 for one of his CDs. He's about my age but has the energy of a 30 year old with an obvious passion for his music.

Posted by greynomadm 22:54 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Through the Barrier Reef

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Another sea day started with a disappointing sunrise. Met a man on the Lido deck with a chart and a GPS device. He plots the ship's position every half hour, he claims it is to keep the Master honest. Walked the deck for about an hour and off to breakfast. We have the Coast to our port and the Barrier Reef to starboard.
The first activity after breakfast was the briefing on our visit to Darwin. This was followed by a fruit and vegetable sculpture demonstration by one of the ship's chefs. In under an hour he created four quite incredible creatures.
At noon, Jenny went off to lunch on the Lido deck while I joined my fellow panelists for a briefing by the host of a Q&A show. The lecture discussion started at 1400 and covered a series of contemporary issues in Australia. My personal contribution was to lament the enormous sums of money spent on sport and the paltry amount of R&D and general science and technology.
Back in the stateroom for a quick refresh and then to get tarted up for the first 'Formal' night. This will be followed by the champagne fountain and the Captain's address.
Very elegant atmosphere in the dinning room and a lovely dinner. After dinner a herd of people milling about for the champagne. We didn't stay for long but headed for the Vista Lounge for a performance by Shane Richards. He's a very clever comedian and magician. He certainly made an hour disappear in a hurry.
We're not spending a lot of time reading our Kindle, they've certainly provided loads of activities for the sea days.

Posted by greynomadm 22:20 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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